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Who was Francis Drake?
Francis Drake was born in Tavistock, Devon, sometime
between 1540 and 1543 in the middle of an ordinary family that had to move to
Chatham, Kent, due to religious disturbances that impressed the little boy that
later would conduct religious services aboard his ships.
In Chatham, Drake started his move toward to the
sea by age of 12 or 13 as an apprentice aboard a small trading ship, and
eventually sailing to trade African slaves to work in the new continent. Francis
Drake married at age 25, but his wife died in 1583 so he married again, however
he had no children.
As Vice Admiral and English privateer, Drake was
the first explorer that circumnavigated the globe with his crew crossing the
Pacific to the East Indies. During this travel, he claimed part of California
for Queen Elizabeth of England, to whom he presented silver, gold, and jewels
taken from Spanish treasure galleons raided in the Coast of Mexico.
This action gained him 10,000 crowns as a reward
and 47,000 to the Queen, who initially invested 1,000 crown in the venture. With
the money, Drake purchased a large estate north of Plymouth called Buckland
Abbey, which is nowadays the museum of the British National Trust.
In 1581, Queen Elizabeth knighted Sir Francis Drake
for his expedition circumnavigating the globe, receiving a coat of arms with a
Latin motto “Sic Parvis Magna” (Greatness from Small Beginnings).
Captain Drake was formerly a civil engineer that
eventually became a navigator and slave trader before he began a career as a
privateer and politician. He is mostly remembered by defeating the Spanish
Armada as the second-in-command of an English fleet in 1588.
After a fiery attack on Cadiz, Spain, locals popularly knew him as "El Draque"
(The Dragon). Sir Francis Drake died of dysentery in Nombre de Dios Bay, Panama,
on 1596 after a frustrated attack to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Sir Francis Drake
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